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  1. #101
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Most agree that the main problems with intrusive and dangerous animals are in Botswana's unfenced Kalahari campsites. Makes one think methink.
    You made me chuckle Stan, who are the intruders? I vote land expropriation without compensation. Give the land back to the animals!!!!
    Last edited by TonyP; 2019/04/04 at 10:30 PM.
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  2. #102
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Mabuasehube, Rooiputs and Polentswa are shielded from the higher camping costs in Botswana's National Parks because they are part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and as such have to confine themselves roughly to the costs as found in the South African national parks.
    Now here is where I am stuck:

    entry fees on RSA side of KTP are R.89 for citizens, R.178 for SADC and R.356 for all other international visitors
    1 night campsite for 1-2 persons is starting at R.354 and up to R. 680 for premium camp sites

    As international visitors our cheapest option on RSA side for 2 persons is min R.1066 /USD76 maximum R.1392/USD 100 per day
    where as on the BOT side we pay USD 10, read: 8 to 10 times less

    A South African citizen travelling in a party of 2 pays on the RSA side of KTP min R. 532/USD38 and up to R.858/USD61 for a premium camp site. But these tariffs only apply if he does not possess a wild card, because then it's less. The south african visitor pays on the BOT side of KTP also USD10, read 4 to 6 times less than on the RSA side

    Perhaps I am just not getting it....
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  4. #103
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    The human race will never learn. https://youtu.be/Dd84NDKL668
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  5. #104
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter de Waal View Post

    .....The water tap and showers must be a kilometer or more away and could be shared by a couple of campsites..........People will then drive out there in the daytime to shower and get water and can see if there are predators. This will move the biggest drawcard in dry areas away from the camps. People will also waste less water and not have pools around their campsite as they must go and fetch it.

    Unworkable IMO. How will people be limited to only go to the showers and tap in the day time? This will only encourage people more to drive around at night, in fact already happening. This is one of the many issues and transgressions in Mabua that the current thread is not focusing on, but that can definitely be addressed by education, patrols and fines. Same applies for transgressions like leaving vehicles and walking on to the pans, driving on to the pans and collecting wood. Because it is happening and it is also starting to happen in the CKGR which by the way does have higher camping fees which should theoretically keep the riff-raff out.

    If there is a tap, even a kilometer or 5 away, some WILL go and fill up their tanks or water cans and create pools or fill bowls in their campsite. We have gone to the scout camp numerous times to top up water. If it is decided to remove access to water ALL water points must be closed, every single one of them otherwise it is a moot exercise.


    They can also be banned from all parks for a period of a year or two. This can be controlled relatively easy at entrance gates if you have to register your id. When you default, your id gets blacklisted.

    Come on, seriously? DWNP are at the moment incapable to send mails to confirm bookings. You want them to keep tabs on 'banned' visitors, keep a register of id's etc? And very easy way to get around that, just make future booking in the name of your wife or cousin or friend who has not been blacklisted.

    If your rubbish was left at the site it could be a stiff fine. You will then not be able to enter any park until the fine was paid. It would be great if Southern African parks could share this list amongst themselves, it will make it much more effective.

    Again, you are expecting way to much of "Southern African" parks.

    But back to your suggestion: so who will check if rubbish was left in the campsite, by who and when? So here I, bush savvy nature lover arrive without my water, shade, etc and I find the previous visitor's (who is by now halfway back to SA) rubbish in the camp site which is now mine for the next few days. Shortly after the ranger arrives and hits me with a fine for some one else's rubbish Or someone dumps his rubbish in my camp site while I am on game drive. Same story, ranger fines me?
    I am actually in favour of leaving the dustbins but rather encourage the rangers to empty them regularly.

    I think some are underestimating or are unfamiliar with the type of visitor which Mabua has started to attract recently. Rubbish will not be taken out by some of these types. It needs to accepted and catered for.


    Let us hear what about that sound workable and what not.
    See my comments in blue

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    This is not the whole story. Camping is not banned in the whole of the greater Mara in Kenya. This was to stop unscrupulous campers (and unscrupulous tour operators) just setting up anywhere they wanted and paying the local Maasai (who after all own the land) for the privilege of doing so.

    One can either complain about visitor numbers or assist in preserving this incredible piece of Africa.
    Would you say people set up camp all over to avoid the high fees?
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2019/04/05 at 10:29 AM.
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  7. #105
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    This is an interesting academic paper on habituation.

    http://irasilver.org/wp-content/uplo...ble-Knight.pdf

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  9. #106
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Thanks for this, good stuff that will need some time to digest.
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    This is an interesting academic paper on habituation.

    http://irasilver.org/wp-content/uplo...ble-Knight.pdf
    Thanks WW. A very interesting academic paper indeed on animal habituation and the effects therof. I encourage all interested parties to read and think about the points made.

    Just some taster quotes:
    "....Often associated with ecotourism, wildlife viewing tends to be seen as a low-impact activity that is consistent with wildlife conservation. Wildlife viewing is frequently represented as a “nonconsumptive” use of wildlife....."

    " The pattern of movement of habituated animals is no longer informed by the imperative of human avoidance, as it was in the past........In many cases, habituated or provisioned animals are brought not just within viewing range, but also within nuisance range.........what is required is for humans to behave in such a way as to restore wildlife aversion to humans (what we might call “reverse habituation”) and withdraw human food handouts."
    Last edited by Stan Weakley; 2019/04/05 at 02:27 PM.
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  12. #108
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    See my comments in blue



    Would you say people set up camp all over to avoid the high fees?
    I would say people set up camp all over to avoid any fees. And this, simply because they can get away with it. Unfortunately honour and doing the right thing is no longer a virtue. Most people do anything, including breaking laws if they can get away with it
    Last edited by TonyP; 2019/04/05 at 02:44 PM.
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  14. #109
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    This is an interesting academic paper on habituation.

    http://irasilver.org/wp-content/uplo...ble-Knight.pdf
    Indeed, very good read.
    Mabua lions must according to this be considered not habituated but attracted/provisioned. While habituaded animals (good example: mountain gorillas) tolerate human presence and forage freely, provisioned animals become positively attracted to humans and interact with them. Provisioned animal behaviour changes from passive recipients to active solicitors and long term provisioning leads to aggresive and violent behavior towards people when food/water handouts at specific sites are regularly offered and incorporated into feeding routine.

    Human-animal contact reduces human avoidance, the animals end up intruding human space and become a problem for local residents and farmers.

    According to experts "reverse habituation" and "reverse provisioning" is possible
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  16. #110
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    For those who haven't seen it, the National Geographic documentary (on Netflix) "Jane", consisting mainly of historic footage shot by Jane Goodall's ex- (and late) husband, the great wildlife cinematographer, Hugo von Lawick, is fascinating.
    Goodall, who had no scientific training, and was working almost alone at Gombe Stream in the 1950s, became frustrated at her inability to get close to the chimpanzees, and started baiting them with bananas.
    It was an almost instant success (and, as she says in the film, a big mistake) but soon the chimps became so habituated that the chimps became quite aggressive and began raiding the camp, and they had to build cages to protect their goods (and later her son) from them, and create feeding stations in steel boxes away from the camp. Chimps are of course highly intelligent and sentient, and can be vicious - several chimp caretakers/zoologists I have met at refuges like Chimfunshi in Zambia and elsewhere are missing fingers, or bear the scars to remember the chimps by.
    It really is a fascinating film about primate habituation (and about Jane Goodall) and should be required viewing, not least for Hugo's incredible landscape footage of the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and elsewhere.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2019/04/05 at 04:05 PM.
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  18. #111
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    This is getting better all the time.
    Some opposing views (This is great as it makes us rethink what we thought was brilliant. Hopefully another contributor will now come up with a better solution or a way of addressing those fears.) Possibly the people that took over campsites for big money and very little improvement can also come to the party and add value like the control and inspection thing.
    (Someone can have his wife or friend make the booking but theoretically he will still not get past the gate as he must show his ID)

    Some excellent info We can all do with that read and maybe the movie.

    I think we must keep this discussion open for a while longer as more people participating should make for more ideas and a better solution.

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  20. #112
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter de Waal View Post
    This is getting better all the time.
    Some opposing views (This is great as it makes us rethink what we thought was brilliant. Hopefully another contributor will now come up with a better solution or a way of addressing those fears.) Possibly the people that took over campsites for big money and very little improvement can also come to the party and add value like the control and inspection thing.
    (Someone can have his wife or friend make the booking but theoretically he will still not get past the gate as he must show his ID)

    Some excellent info We can all do with that read and maybe the movie.

    I think we must keep this discussion open for a while longer as more people participating should make for more ideas and a better solution.

    The whole group of visitors to the Park MUST have identification. If anyone in the group transgressors, then the whole group is banned.
    In this way, especially larger groups, will police themselves, if they do not wish to risk being banned from the Parks...

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  22. #113
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    To put the cat among the pigeons, and pardon my English writing skills.

    A (UNPOPULAR) though crossed my mind a while ago, especially with regards to the above scenario, eliminating that, which we all hope, will not happen, some serious human animal confrontation.

    Should we not think out of the box, (Park) instead of inside the box (Park)

    Take for example LZNP and SL in Zambia. There are no camping facilities for self drivers like myself in these parks, which forces us to camp in well run campsites outside the park, at affordable prices. I accept the fact than when I travel to those parks, i will have to stay outside, but have the opportunity to enter/exit each day, and if properly planned, you don't have to wait at the gate early morning to pay for the days entrance, as you can pay ahead for a couple of days.

    Why is the current situtution possibly volotile, with the emphasis on Mabua, and some of the other parks to a lessor extend.
    As the scenario at Mabua (Mpaya and Lesho) evolved, more and more tourists, myself probably included, wanted the experience of possibly seeing lion's close at hand, during the night, from the comfort of ones tent/etc. to get the adrenaline a bit pumping and being able to share the experience without really realising what the long term affect would be on those Lions.
    Now, and this a big question, get the private concession holders, who took over campsites without doing much, other than raising the fees, in my opinion, to spend some of that money, allocate some property outside the park to them, on a lease agreement, and have them set up "LIMITED" private campsites, outside the parks perimeter, with daily entry into the park. (These parks have hardly any day visitors)
    I know there are some real practical problems with regards to this, as you have various entrances, and specifically in Mabua from Nossob etc., but could be solved.

    Remove the existing campsites within the park. (DONT SHOOT ME< I AM JUST THINKING AT ALTERNATIVE POSSIBILITIES, PERHAPS TO DRASTIC) Don't get me wrong, the same could happen to these future possible unfenced concession camp sites, as the lions are nomadic and the park is not properly fenced.

    This to me would seriously have the following affect.

    Definitely, (I WOULD THINK) less visitors as the one of the main experience/Attractions (Lions in camp at night) will be eliminated to an extent. I have experienced many days in Mabua where you could be driving around, waiting at a waterhole for a length of time, without seeing much, but to me, that's part of my trips which I thoroughly enjoy.

    (As Mabua is very easilly accesable with relative short travel time, from certain parts of SA, the above "MIGHT" eliminate short weekend visits to an extend limiting the quantity of tourists..??)

    {Are we to a extent not somewhat overreacting, and I stand to be corrected, with regards to definite future physical interaction.
    I remember in the 70's /80's and early 90's, and to my mind, a lot more incidents were reported, with some fatal results, with less tourists.? at some of the Bots Parks. . Third bridge is but one that comes to mind. Remember the old Savuti camp, electrified fencing etc. did not help, yes, due to Elephants}

    Could this be done for example in the CKGR or other Bots Parks,I am not so sure, and should something like this be implemented, it will take some "SEROIUS" thinking and considderation, which I doubt due to high costs.

    To wrap it up, another question which could help the in the establishment of future concession/park tourist attractions.
    My son is currently busy doing a survey in a certain area, outside SA, to determine the feasability and quantification off existing wildlife, with the emphasis on the Lion population which was to be thought, non existing in this area, for future Tourist development.
    Some possitive suggestions/proposals could come from this thread to be possibly implemented in establishing a better Wildlife Human relationship for future generations.
    PS: I can with great joy mention that in the last two and a half months, and with great nightly efforts by him and his tracker, at a cost of a couple of BF's, they have been able to locate one, (difficult to determine from night photos) possibly two different female lion's.
    Just some thoughts to ponder
    Rudy

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  24. #114
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Rudy, fair point. However if predator on human attacks in Mabua become more than a very isolated incidents, I can well envisage the Botswana authorities limiting camping to just outside of the park in new, probably fenced campsites. This, for purely selfish reasons, is something I desperately do not want to happen. I love "living amongst lions" and have a high degree of confidence that my wife and I have the knowledge, experience and discipline to minimize the chances of us being mauled or killed by lions, hyena, leopards or being trampled by elephants. Famous last words?

    Most countries, including Botswana, are very conscious of protecting their reputations as attractive but safe safari destinations. This is mainly directed at the top end of the safari market and believe me, they would be very quick to regulate or ban unfenced camping if incidents there threatened to tarnish their reputation for safety and thereby adversely affected tourist income.

    South Luangwa is primarily directed at the top-end luxury lodge market and I am confident that those investors would kick up a terrific fuss should any public campsites be opened within SLNP. Although game viewing here is as good as anywhere, not being able to camp within the park appreciably detracts from South Luangwa as a destination in my opinion. Incidentally the campsites on the banks of the Luangwa River outside the park, are notorious for the occasional aggressive interaction between elephants and campers. Usually due to ignorance or carelessness from the campers.

    The northern section of Kafue also in Zambia, around the wonderful Busanga Swamp, is similar. Here the vested interests of the few exclusive private lodges seem to be jealously gaurded with no camping allowed. I know of operators that have been trying to open self-drive campsites here for a number of years, without success.

    Thus not only are lovers of independant, untramelled camping in national parks and reserves up against safety factors, but also seemingly up against the major private investors in wildlife tourism. They will not hesitate to agitate against us should there be any scandel about the safety of unfenced camping.
    Last edited by Stan Weakley; 2019/04/06 at 11:36 AM. Reason: public added to campsites wrt South Luangwa
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  26. #115
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    ...South Luangwa is primarily directed at the top-end luxury lodge market and I am confident that those investors would kick up a terrific fuss should any campsites be opened within SLNP. Although game viewing here is as good as anywhere, not being able to camp within the park appreciably detracts from South Luangwa as a destination in my opinion. Incidentally the campsites on the banks of the Luangwa River outside the park, are notorious for the occasional aggressive interaction between elephants and campers. Usually due to ignorance or carelessness from the campers...
    Mfuwe lodge inside SLNP also run unfenced seasonal camps in more remote areas , like the Nsefu sector, but they are extremely expensive luxury camps for the few (wealthy internationals, photographers etc).

    I quite like what AP (African Parks) do here in Malawi in places such as Majete, where you have what is known as a 'Community campsite', it's within the park but fenced and run by the communities that live in the surrounding areas. It's affordable and it's safe.

    Much as I enjoy places like the Botswana parks or Mana Pools were you camp in the wild, I personally do not find that a fence detracts from the experience in fenced camps.
    Sometimes when it comes to wildlife, less is more for me: I enjoy hearing the lions roaring, I don't need them to brush against the canvas every night to know that they are there. I think that too close proximity breeds overfamiliarity on both parts (human and animal).

    Visitor education for me is the issue: people are often under pressure from TV, You tube videos, Facebook etc which glamourise ever closer and more dangerous encounters. The internet from this point of view has a lot to answer for.

    I prefer a less intrusive approach: distance, respect, keep noise down, keep photography to a minimum, keep viewing times short, avoid crowding around a kill etc.

    So, in the end, I am with those who say more rules and more enforcement (National Parks presence) at the unfenced camps, but also the opportunity to have a choice between fenced and unfenced camps.

    Cheers
    Last edited by tashtego9; 2019/04/06 at 11:30 AM.

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  28. #116
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    The easiest is to get a human to sort out the trouble on site.
    I will happily live in any of the parks mentioned and manage the people.

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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Thanks Tashtego, valid points. In response I have edited the post, adding the word public to campsites in the South Luangwa paragraph.
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Applying some (Maybe flawed) logic. It seems the main issue is one campsite with a concrete slab that forms a puddle at the shower. Can one of us on his next visit take an angle grinder and cut a drainage channel in the slab so it will permanently drain properly.

    This should be a point in our plan. All slabs must be sloped properly, even the longdrop as some of us will use it to puddle water. Putting out a container with food or water must be a punishable offence.

    Suggestion for the brave. (I am getting scared)
    An option is to build a campsite that is far away from the normal (public campsites) and has all the attractions for lion (Waterhole amongst the tents) (Maybe feeding spot etc.) This then becomes a 'special' where you can experience your close encounters first hand. You will have to read a special set of rules and sign special indemnities. No children allowed. (Most probably controversial: exclude ladies ) Charge inflated prices here but well below the luxury options. Offer the guys their thrill of a lifetime first hand.

    Possible change (after someone got eaten) Put down a container with small slots for photography. You hire the container for the night and have to stay inside all night. You must produce and bring you own porta potti. No shade for lion to relax. This will make them leave when it is hot and give you gap to get in your car.(Sink the container into the ground)

    Create a zoo experience for the wildlife with humans in the cage. (Where a lot of us belong)
    Last edited by Pieter de Waal; 2019/04/06 at 11:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Some of the suggestions made once again involve engineering nature to accommodate humans - fencing, locating camps outside the park, sinking containers into the ground as viewing points, setting up feeding stations, etc etc. All of that completely negates the very first attraction of place like Mabua - relatively wild, unfenced camping in a predator-rich environment.
    It must be reiterated that the problem in Mabua (and elsewhere) is a human problem, not a lion problem. What we need is less engineering, not more. Make every visitor (right down to the little kids, with a legal guardian signing on their behalf) sign an indemnity form which they must read through in front of the officials, and which spells out what is forbidden - feeding of animals, putting water out etc. And place CCTV cameras in the offices so that the process is recorded.
    I know that indemnity forms are not worth the paper on which they are written, but this would be the first step in the education process.
    Then, if there is a fatal or serious attack, the Botswanan authorities have a fallback position - "we warned them".
    And issue every visitor with rubbish bags that MUST be inspected on departure - if the bags are empty, the campers must go back to the camp with the rangers to prove they have not left their rubbish behind - the distances in Mabua are very small, that's not a lot to ask (in wilderness parks in the United States, hikers and campers HAVE to take all their faeces out with them, as do rafters on the Orange River.)
    It's time to get fascist.
    As I said earlier in my column, perhaps Darwinian natural selection taking its course will be the best education tool we have.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2019/04/06 at 12:13 PM.
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  35. #120
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    Default Re: Habituated wild animals

    Pieter, if I recall correctly, all the wooden-stockade shower amenities in the Botswana Kalahari campsites are on concrete slabs and drain directly out onto the sand. They need a sealed pipe leading into a French drain so that there are no puddles of water left lying around in this area of water-satuarated soil. The same underneath the taps.
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